Last week, Norwegian song writers and composers expressed their worries about the high level of Swedes in the Norwegian selection for the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest. Swedes can be found behind 12 of the 18 songs, while NRK received 585 songs for Melodi Grand Prix 2006.
Stian Malme, project leader at NRK, reacted exclusively on the critics. “For quite a few years now we have opened our competition for foreign songwriters and composers. This is a result of fewer Norwegian entries”, he said. Over 60% of 585 entries were from foreign composers this year.
“Our jury has chosen the songs without knowing the nationality of the composers”, Malme emphasised. “I am always happy to see the passion that this contest still raises in people, and I hope that this is a wake up call to our national composers (…) That said, I believe we have one of the best national selections ever in Norway this year, and I also draw the line at foreign composers! All our artists are Norwegian or have lived in Norway at least 10 years”, he added.
Philip Kruse, who wrote the lyric of Mata Hari in 1976, said that the amount of Swedes is “unacceptably high in this year's national selection” and that this is an “embarrassment”. He suggested NRK to work more closely with the music industry to avoid a majority of Swedes in the national selection.